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11:30 AM ET, April 19, 2012


 Top Items: 
Secret Service Pre-Planned Party at Colombian Hotel  —  ABC News' Reena Ninan, Christine Romo and Mary Bruce Report:  —  CARTAGENA, Colombia — Secret Service officials planning a wild night of fun in Colombia did some of their own advanced work last week, booking a party space at the Hotel Caribe …
William Neuman / New York Times:
Colombian Escort Speaks About Secret Service Scandal  —  CARTAGENA, Colombia — A Secret Service agent preparing for President Obama's arrival at an international summit meeting and a single mother from Colombia who makes a living as a high-priced escort faced off in a room at the Hotel Caribe …
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:   Gingrich's Secret Service detail likely costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a day
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Three Secret Service agents leave due to prostitution scandal
Discussion: and Politico
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
Congressional Oversight Leaders Say Secret Service Agents Brought Prostitutes into Contact …
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
Jim Webb: Health-care law represents a leadership failure for Obama  —  President Obama's new health-care law will be his greatest liability as he attempts to once again win the critical swing state of Virginia, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) warned Wednesday.  —  “I'll be real frank here,” Webb said at a breakfast organized by Bloomberg News.
Obama camp tries to diversify  —  President Barack Obama's team is looking to hire more African-Americans, a search that has stirred a debate among black Democrats about Obama's record on diversity and its implications for his reelection.  —  Stefanie Brown, director of the campaign's African …
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Obama: Unlike some people, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth
Amy Gardner / Washington Post:
Obama: 'I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth'
Discussion: The New Republic and The Raw Story
Brian Beutler /
TPMDC  —  Obama To GOP: Abide By Debt Limit Deal Or Else Face A Govt Shutdown Right Before The Election  —  In a major escalation of a slowly building fight over funding the government, the White House has warned House Republicans, in no uncertain terms, that the government will shut …
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Obama warns GOP not to move spending bills that break debt deal
Discussion: The Maddow Blog
Quinnipiac University:
Big Lead With Women Gives Obama An Edge On Romney, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Christie, Rubio, Ryan Top GOP Running Mate List  —  President Barack Obama holds a thin 46 - 42 percent lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.
New York Times:
New York Times/CBS News Poll Shows Doubts on Economy Helping Romney
Discussion: The Caucus, ABCNEWS and Daily Kos
John Frank / Raleigh News & Observer:
Letter details allegations of sexual harassment at N.C. Democratic Party  —  A former staffer accused the Democratic Party's executive director of showing him a picture of a penis, caressing his leg and discussing his sexual exploits, according to a new document obtained by The News & Observer.
John Frank / The Charlotte Observer:
Letter details allegations of sexual harassment by ex-director of N.C. Democratic Party
Michael Patrick Leahy / The Daily Caller:
The coming conservative landslide  —  Wishful liberals and Chicken Little conservatives who watch the weekly fluctuations in the presidential polls have concluded that President Obama is a shoo-in for re-election.  They point out that Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee …
David Gibson / Washington Post:
Vatican orders crackdown on American nuns  —  WASHINGTON — The Vatican has launched a crackdown on the umbrella group that represents most of America's 55,000 Catholic nuns, saying that the group was not speaking out strongly enough against gay marriage, abortion and women's ordination.
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Laurie Goodstein / New York Times:
Vatican Reprimands U.S. Nuns Group
NY Daily News:
The smartest choice Ann Romney made  —  There is no shame in marrying up  —  Mitt and Ann, serving a pancake breakfast.  —  As a thirtysomething, city-dwelling, hypereducated, independent-thinking woman, I suppose I should recoil at the idea of one day getting married …
How Mitt Romney Learned To Love Twitter
Discussion: ABCNEWS and Althouse
Marty Nemko / The Atlantic Online:
Why the U.S. Economy Is Biased Against Men  —  That women earn 77 cents for every $1 earned by a man is a popular refrain.  But look closer.  Prejudice against guys in the economy is real and widespread.  —  You've just landed on Planet Zuto.  —  The Intergalactic Equal Employment …
Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. / The Jawa Report:
OWS Celebrates Holocaust Day w/ Antisemetic Cartoons  —  To give them their due, there are a lot of people in the comments pissed off about the picture.  But, there are also 43 likes and 59 people sharing the photo (as of this writing).  —  So, is this a one-offer that we who already …
Penny Starr / CNSNews:
Obama Once Needed ‘to Take a Subway or a Bus Just to Find a Fresh Piece of Fruit’  —  ( - Barack Obama's vision as president is shaped by the fact that he knows what “it's like to take a subway or a bus just to find a fresh piece of fruit in a grocery store,” …
Jay Cost / Weekly Standard:
Morning Jay: Obama the Underdog  —  Sean Trende has an important column that connects presidential job approval to reelection results.  You really should read the whole thing, but here is the big take home point: … This is exactly right, and something I have been discussing for some time now.
Discussion: Real Clear Politics
Mgoodman / CBS Dallas:
Perry Interested In Another Run For President  —  PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) - Governor Rick Perry's first campaign for President did not finish as he planned.  But during a one-on-one interview with CBS 11 News reporter Jack Fink in Plano on Wednesday, it sounded like he wants to give a run for the White House another try.
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
The most amazing Supreme Court chart.  Maybe ever.  —  While browsing around the Pew polling site this morning — and, yes, we do a fair amount of that — we came across a chart on the Supreme Court that reminded us, for the billionth time, that assuming the average person follows …
Leslie Gornstein / E! Online:
Dick Clark: 10 Ways He Changed Pop Culture Forever  —  Will anyone be as influential over pop culture as Dick Clark was?  Not likely.  —  Yes, musicians like Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson revolutionized popular music, and TV owes its very bones to innovators such as Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin.
Discussion: The Reaction
Jobless data suggests slowdown in job creation  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits for the first time fell only slightly last week, dampening hopes of a pick-up in job creation in April after March's slowdown.  —  Initial claims for state …
Discussion: Campaign 2012 and Hot Air
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Rep. West doubles down on Communist ‘ideology’ of progressive caucus  —  Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) on Thursday maintained that the “the strategy, the tactics, the ideology” of progressive caucus members in Congress are the same as that of the Communist Party.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Charles C. Johnson / BREITBART.COM:
TOURÉ, 9/11 TRUTHER  —  It now appears that Touré, an MSNBC contributor, is a 9-11 conspiracy crank.  Writing after Van Jones, the former White House green jobs czar, was fired in 2009, Touré took to Twitter to defend Jones's outlandish statements with some of his own.
Discussion: The Jawa Report
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 More Items: 
T.W. Farnam / Washington Post:
Payday lenders up their contributions to candidates
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Do Romney's Favorability Ratings Matter?
Neil Shah / Wall Street Journal:
Workers' Pay Divide Persists
George Washington / naked capitalism:
2 Years After the BP Oil Spill, Is the Gulf Ecosystem Collapsing?
Julie Bykowicz / Business Week:
The Business of Ending a Presidential Campaign
Discussion: Capital Tonight
Mike Vilensky / Metropolis:
Tom Ridge Talks About Terrorism, Gay Politics
Tom Gantert / Michigan Capitol Confidential:
Teacher Upset She Can't Retire at 47
Discussion: Hit & Run
 Earlier Items: 
Amy Chozick / New York Times:
New York Times Co. Reports Gain in Net Income
Washington Post:
A fairer workplace in federal contracting
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Poliglot
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Congressional Approval Recovers Slightly, Now 17%
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Politico
Greg Miller / Washington Post:
CIA seeks new authority to expand Yemen drone campaign
Discussion: News Desk, Fox News, Hit & Run and The BLT
Dennis Romboy / KSL-TV:
Secret poll: State senators favor Liljenquist in U.S. Senate race
Sharon Waxman / The Wrap:
Mel Gibson Rage Rant in Costa Rica: ‘Filthy C—sucker Whore’ (Audio)
Discussion: and Shakesville